Opinion: Why are certain things allowed on Saba

Dear Editor,

Here on Saba we have bars and restaurants that are now operating as discotheques.

It is heartbreaking to see how our little 5-square-mile island is now becoming a “do what you want, how you want, when you want and nobody in authority seems to care. Sad to say, but that is the norm of the day here on Saba.

I agree that bars and restaurants should be allowed to have soft or low background music, but the socalled bars and restaurants are now entertaining you with disk jockeys and loud music.

Oh my fellow Sabans, are we becoming so deaf and mute and blind that we can’t see and hear what is going on and start speaking up? The hurtful part of it is that these establishments are smack in the middle of the villages where you have homes, where people are being disturbed with the noise from these dance parties, because that is exactly what it turns into.

My question is: How can our authorities allow this, and with this, I mean Police department and government. On weekends you can no longer sleep peacefully because of these noises and the whooping and hollering.

Yet, we have to tolerate this because no authority on Saba does anything. Certain people on Saba are allowed to get away with anything, just because of who they are related to and what their last names are.

It should not be that permits be granted to bars and restaurants to have dance parties, especially if they are situated in the heart of the villages and next to homes, where you have children and elderly folks living. A bar and a restaurant is exactly that, a bar and a restaurant and a nightclub/disco, and folks should start distinguishing the difference between the two. I will just like others to sit back and watch to see if our people in authority will take measures, or just continue to let these people do as they want.

In closing I would like to throw this at our authorities and say to them, “Will you all do something for the folks who have to endure all this noise, even on weekends?”

A tired and fed up Saban
Name withheld at author’s request.

The Daily Herald.

Public meeting Central Committee: Thursday, February 18
Saba ushers in Chinese New Year with a bang

11 comments

  1. Fed up with stupid complaining

    If they have a permit to do so they do it Close your windows and go to sleep saba has parties on weekends and on a Wednesday thats it if u dont like it close your windows and go to bed.
    (shortened by editor)

  2. Elders of Saba learn to get along with the youth of Saba and youth of Saba Respect the Elders that need there sleep and rest. Maybe saba can pass a noise ordnance and fine the Bars if there’s 3 noise complaints in 1 night.

  3. Go buy some ear plugs u seem like one old bitter woman (or man) 2 nights in a week n u complaining about sleep lmfao u need to build yourself a house up in the mountains somewhere !! How much entertainment does saba really have , you are indeed right to keep your name withheld!!!

  4. I’ll start by stating that I’m fine with parties at the bars and restaurants. It’s important that people get to enjoy their number one hobby. However, the volume needs to be lowered. When one goes to a social event and is unable to socialize then what’s the point? Can we just find a middle road solution and lower the volume?

  5. Surely. I understand the hurt and frustration of the senior citizens over the exceedingly high noise level displayed by DJ’s music at some clubs and restaurant functions on Saba. It is a problem which must be addressed in the interest of living peace and the right to enjoyment of one’s personal property, in this case one’s home. Music can really be discomforting,especially when played above certain volume threshold. It is a danger to one’s sense of hearing and social behavior,when it is usually associated with over excessive use of alcohol. Authorities should put some measure in place to ensure that in issuing music permits,a statement must be affixed, which defines music above a specified sound level, considered as loud music will not be permitted at bars or restaurants,particularly at a certain time of night. An exception rule to this statement can however, apply once special considerations are agreed upon by residents, club owners or interest group.

    Adopted Son.

  6. My week so far:

    I live right next door to the restaurant “Brigadoon” and over the past few months I have complained on several occasions to the new owner about the noise level at night. Brigadoon is a restaurant and are supposed to shut everything down by 10pm, as this is the license that they own; however this is constantly being ignored.

    Previously, I have walked into Brigadoon at 2am in the morning and asked them to turn their music down and was told by one of their employees that this is Dutch law on the island and that I can’t bring my American laws here. For the record, I’m Canadian, and although I am not familiar with Dutch law, I am very familiar with the concept of decency and respect.

    It is now Friday morning Feb 12th at 1:40am and Brigadoon just played Adele’s entire catalogue over the past hour or so at full blast. Over the past week I have recorded when Brigadoon has shut down for the night:

    Thursday of last week: 1am
    Friday of last week: 3 am
    Saturday of last week: 3 am
    Sunday of last week: 10pm
    Monday of this week: 1am….shut down by the police that drove by and told them to . However, the talking and yelling inside continued until after 2am
    Tuesday: 10pm
    Wednesday: 10pm
    Tonight (Thursday) …. 1:45am (current time and Adele is still screeching like a drowning cat)
    I can’t wait to see what this weekend brings!

    I’m all for supporting local business and having entertainment on the island, however some people are following a law of their own and it is totally unacceptable.Other establishments in Windwardside: Scouts, Hideaway and Sea Witch (the main strip) always get permits if they are open late, and by all accounts, they abide by these. Also, in defense of The Hideaway, when the clock struck midnight on both occasions on the two Friday nights that I was there, they shut down the music as per the law and their extended weekend permit.

    What irritates me is you have one or two establishments that feel that they are above the law; that claim to follow some ‘Dutch’ law that only they seem to recognize. Not only does this infuriate their tired neighbours to the point that they are forced to write this plea for a reasonable closing hour on this website, but their complete disregard for anyone around them as well as their fellow restaurateurs who are abiding by the laws, are all going to suffer if law enforcement lays it down heavy on everyone else; forcing everyone to shut down early. Everyone loses in the end!

    Luckily, I am on vacation this week, so I won’t have to call in late for work as I will be able to catch up on sleep, however I have had to call in late for work in the past, as the party next door went on until 4am one weekday morning. This ongoing noise pollution simply isn’t acceptable. I’m a teacher on the island and have to be up early with a clear mind in order to help educate these wonderful young people that I have the privilege to teach everyday. When I can’t get a decent nights rest, this makes my job very difficult to perform; my students will testify that I can be a bear with a sore head on such occasions. It’s not fair to me, but more importantly, it’s not fair to them!

    Therefore, I ask my neighbours or any other establishment that is aware that they are bending the rules to serve a few more drinks …. think of the bigger picture. It’s not all about you and your pocketbook. Your continued disregard for the people living around you will eventually ruin it for everyone. We all have to cohabitate on this small little island, so we should all do our utmost to be respectful of one another. The law is the law, and it’s unfair that other establishments are abiding by it and getting ‘late night’ weekend extensions for their opening hours, while others feel that they can do so as they please, when they chose to. It’s just not right !

    • I rent the Iris House yearly and that is only a few houses down from the Brigadoon.
      Noise travels, bad enough the roosters next door can’t tell time, but I come to Saba for the relaxing time and if I have to listen to or be woken up by loud music, that’s going to be a problem.

  7. It’s ridiculous that a business so close to residential homes should be allowed to consistently disturb its neighbors. If the business wants to have loud music then it should be the one that is required to build a structure ‘high up in the mountains’, not the residents who were there first.

  8. René Caderius van Veen

    And what has been regulated in the Local Ordinance (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening)???

  9. Conflicted Student

    My time on Saba has been the most conflicted experience in my entire life. Saba is an incredibly beautiful island but every time I get to take in all the island’s beauty, I am reminded that while the island is majestic and awe-inspiring, some people that make Saba their home are far from majestic. They show no regard for their neighbors, and seemingly go out of their way to disturb those around them. These disturbances can manifest as anything from being lloud and crude in all hours of the night, to playing very inappropriate music at a deafening volume regardless of the time of day or night.

    What is worse is that this behavior seems to be encouraged on Saba. Instead of promoting the island’s wildlife or trails, or celebrating Saba’s rich history, all that the people of Saba seem to celebrate is a culture of drinking and dancing. It is incredibly sad to see a location so rich in both natural wonder, history and culture, be squandered, especially when I personally have experienced what Saba has to offer.

    I doubt that is much that can be done at this point, and I do not regret my time here as a student solely because of my experiences exploring Saba, but it feels as if the people of Saba have done everything in their power to make me regret choosing Saba to study medicine.

  10. Interpretations are fine, but regulations are to be complied with. By everyone. And we cannot just comply with the regulations that suit us, and forget the ones that don’t. And by the way: if a restaurant closing time in Holland is regulated to be 10 p.m., it must be closed (and noise-free) at 10 p.m. The rest is checking compliance and enforce it. Makes for a simple world, doesn’t it?

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